Open Letter to Minister Deb Matthews

November  30, 2017


Dear Minister Deb Matthews,

The Seneca Student Federation is penning this letter in representation of all full-time students at Seneca College, covering all campuses. 

We are writing in response to the statement that was released by the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development on the 10th of November introducing the Student Support Fund which is comprised of the monetary savings from the strike. The implementation of such a fund is a miniscule initiative when the extent of those affected is concerned; however, the conditions surrounding disbursement are extremely unreasonable. The fact that students must request and provide supporting documents to prove the magnitude of hardship endured is completely unacceptable.

It is our stance that all full-time students should receive $500.00 or  an allotted amount from the Fund. Additionally, students who have experienced a greater loss  should  then have the opportunity to apply for reimbursement through a regulated application process. This application process cannot accurately compensate students for the time wasted over the duration of the strike and the immense stress that students wanting to complete their semester currently face.

We are receiving mass correspondence from students relaying various issues experienced during the strike period. The hardships faced include, but are not limited to, housing concerns, lost work opportunities, childcare expenses and travel costs. The adjustments made to the semester impacts students’ opportunities to work in the summer and over breaks, thus limiting their ability to save for future studies. The list does not fully consider additional hardships faced by international students, starting with the fact that they pay significantly higher tuition than domestic students. The total amount offered by the Student Relief Fund is not adequate in compensating international students for the additional expenses they have been forced to incur.

We urge you to reconsider your current  position and provide the proper compensation for our students. All student circumstances are unique and should be entitiled to an allotted amount without having to endure further duress of an application process. After five long weeks, they are entitled to be treated fairly and equitably. Please remember that these are not just our students. These are your students. They deserve better and on their behalf, we urge you to do better.



LéNea Richardson

Acting President

Vice-President: Newnham Campus

Seneca Student Federation